Marc Leishman Surges Late for Arnold Palmer Invitational Title

In what was an emotional week for fans and players alike, Marc Leishman used a back nine rally to earn his second career PGA Tour victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Kevin Kisner and Charlie Hoffman shared the 54-hole lead, but Hoffman stumbled on the front nine, while Kisner was able to build a lead that reached a big as four strokes.

Kisner opened the door to a contenders like Leishman and Rory McIlroy when he bogeyed three holes in a six hole stretch.

McIlory tied the lead after a remarkable birdie on the par-5 16th, but bogeyed the final hole and finished two back.

Leishman took control of the tournament by holing a 45-foot eagle putt on 16. The Aussie was able to get up and down from the bunker on 17 and his deft pitch on 18 to three feet all but sealed the victory.

Thoughts:

– Much of the discourse leading into the event was the absence of some top names from the field. Many felt players should honor Palmer’s legacy and play the event even if it does not fit in their schedule. While I agree with that sentiment, player’s are too deep in their Masters prep to alter their schedule. Also, Palmer would want players to prioritize getting ready for the Masters instead of focusing on him.

– Leishman has flirted with big time wins in the past. He has played well at the Masters in recent years and was apart of the three-man playoff at the 2015 British Open.

– Leishman’s previous victory came at the 2012 Travelers Championship.

– In 2015, Leishman’s wife nearly died from Toxic Shock Syndrome. Doctors said she had a 5% chance of surviving and was forced into a medically induced coma. She was able to survive, but those circumstances had to have made the tournament win that much sweeter.

– It looked like it could have been McIlroy’s week, especially after his birdie on 16 to tie the lead, but his putting woes caught up to him on 18 with a brutal three-putt.

– His mammoth drives were incredible all week and were accentuated with the firm and fast conditions. He seems to be fully recovered from the rib injury and in prime form as we get closer to Augusta.

– The tributes to Palmer were everywhere all week. It started on Wednesday when his grandson, and honorary host of the week, Sam Saunders began a type of 21 gun salute with drivers. Palmer’s cart with his clubs on the back was parked by the lake on 18 and instead of the customary blazer awarded to the winner, a red cardigan, a Palmer trademark, was given to Leishman.


Bank of the Week:

The best bank shot of the week did not come from any of the tournament games, but rather from Zach Johnson.

Unnecessary Life Endangerment Move of the Week:

Cody Gribble…onions


RIP Chubbs

Commercial Hitting The Feels of the Week:

This was played on nearly every commercial break and rightfully so…all the feels. Even Ian Poulter’s presence couldn’t ruin it.


Club Toss of the Week:

It goes to Emiliano Grillo, great form. This was en route to a quadruple bogey nine.

Shot of the Week:

Has to be Leishman’s putt on 16. The eagle took him from one behind to one ahead and he never looked back.

Stay tuned to The Otter Room this week for a complete preview of the Dell Technologies Match Play. event.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *